It’s already a struggle…
Arsenal look likely to miss out on Champions League football, and it looks to be already having a negative impact on their transfers this summer.
Young French defender William Saliba has been on loan at Marseille, where he picked up the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year for his standout performances this season.
Saliba has now come out to say that he doesn’t want to play for Arsenal, as he would rather return to Marseille permanently to play in the Champions League.
Speaking about his future, he said: “I want to come back and play the Champions’ League. I have never played in it and I want to discover it here.”
To put Saliba’s talents into perspective, he was just called up to the French international squad ahead of Ibrahima Konate.
William Saliba at Arsenal
Ignoring the fact that Mikel Arteta’s treatment of Saliba is confusing (keeping Rob Holding around instead of giving his minutes to Saliba will never make sense), his comments show just how important Champions League qualification is.
Players want to play in the top competitions, and the Champions League is just that. If you fail to qualify, you are going to find it more difficult to attract top quality players.
Arsenal’s transfer woes
Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal themselves have signed top players without having Champions League football in the past, but it definitely becomes an awful lot harder.
Would an exciting prospect sign for a team who haven’t been in the Champions League in almost seven years? Probably not. Arsenal have a serious issue if they are going to continue not qualifying for the biggest club tournament in the world.
Their excellent young players like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe will start looking at their age-mates playing in huge games, and ask why they shouldn’t be doing the same.
Simply put, the damage of not qualifying for the Champions League has already begun for Arteta’s side, and the transfer window hasn’t even opened yet.
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